Defense Management: High-Level Leadership Commitment and Actions Are Needed to Address Corrosion Issues Page: 2 of 39
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aAccountabiity Integrity Reliability
Highlights of GAO-07-618, a report to
Why GAO Did This Study
Corrosion can have a deleterious
effect on military equipment and
infrastructure in terms of cost,
readiness, and safety. Recognizing
this concern, the Bob Stump
National Defense Authorization Act
of Fiscal Year 2003 required the
Department of Defense (DOD) to
designate an official or
organization to oversee and
coordinate efforts to prevent and
mitigate corrosion. Recently, the
National Defense Authorization Act
of Fiscal Year 2006 directed GAO to
examine the effectiveness of DOD's
corrosion prevention and
mitigation programs. In addition,
GAO evaluated the extent to which
DOD has incorporated corrosion
prevention planning in acquiring
weapon systems. GAO reviewed
strategy documents, reviewed
corrosion prevention planning for
51 recent major weapon system
acquisitions, and interviewed DOD
and military service officials.
GAO is recommending that the
Secretary of Defense and the Under
Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology and
Logistics ensure that actions
designed to effectively implement
DOD's corrosion prevention
strategy are taken. In commenting
on a draft of this report, DOD
partially concurred with GAO's
four recommendations. DOD's
actions are generally responsive to
the intent of GAO's
To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact William Solis at
(202) 512-8365 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
High-Level Leadership Commitment and
Actions Are Needed to Address
What GAO Found
DOD continues to have problems that hinder progress in implementing its
corrosion prevention and mitigation strategy. While it has created a
Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office, that office lacks the ability to oversee
and coordinate its efforts throughout DOD, as envisioned by Congress. For
* DOD's office does not review all of the services' proposed funding
requests for corrosion programs, even though it is required to do so,
because DOD has not directed the services to provide such information
and none of the services has a designated official or office to oversee
and coordinate servicewide corrosion activities. Without comprehensive
reviews of the services' corrosion-related programs and proposed
funding requests, the office cannot fulfill its oversight and coordination
* DOD has made some progress in identifying corrosion cost impacts, but
it has not identified readiness and safety impacts. It recently completed
corrosion cost impact studies for Army ground vehicles and Navy ships,
identifying an estimated $4.5 billion in annual corrosion costs. Although
the studies provided potentially useful data for reducing these costs,
DOD has not developed an action plan to apply these data to developing
corrosion prevention and mitigation strategies. Without an action plan, it
could miss opportunities to achieve long-term cost savings.
* DOD has not yet developed results-oriented metrics, although GAO has
previously recommended that it do so.
Without top DOD and service leadership commitment to address these
issues, corrosion prevention and mitigation will remain elusive goals and
opportunities to reduce costs, enhance readiness, and avoid safety problems
will be lost.
Most of the weapon system acquisition programs GAO reviewed had not
incorporated key elements of DOD corrosion prevention guidance. GAO
found that only 14 of the 51 programs reviewed had both corrosion
prevention plans and advisory teams, as encouraged in the DOD guidance.
The primary reason most programs did not have these two elements is that
they are not mandatory. As a result, these programs may be missing
opportunities to prevent and mitigate corrosion.
Corrosion Prevention Planning for Major Acquisition Programs
Programs that have a corrosion Programs that have a corrosion
prevention and control plan prevention advisory team
Yes No Total Yes No Total
Army 5 8 13 5 8 13
Air 4 9 13 5 8 13
Navy 11 14 25 8 17 25
Total 20 31 51 18 33 51
Source: GAO analysis of service data. i ..... ~ m A . k f;4 ,
,IIIte tates overnV mllltlt e, UnUtJIIty IC;e
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Defense Management: High-Level Leadership Commitment and Actions Are Needed to Address Corrosion Issues, report, April 30, 2007; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302158/m1/2/: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.